Hospitals crisis continues with 400 people waiting on trolleys every day

HOSPITALS are still being gripped by an emergency department crisis, with more than 400 people on trolleys every day on average over the past fortnight.

Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) figures show facilities such as Cork University Hospital (CUH), University Hospital Galway (UHG), St Vincent’s and Naas General are consistently being swamped with patients.

Others like Beaumont, Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda, Cavan General and Wexford General have also been inundated with patients over the past two weeks.

And despite the lack of attention the issue is receiving, the figures confirm the national problem is continuing to damage the health service, as some patients wait more than a day for treatment.

According to the INMO, 407 people were forced to wait on trolleys across Ireland yesterday, including 43 at UHG, 42 at Naas General, 36 at CUH and 33 at Beaumont.

A massive 487 had to wait on Tuesday — a situation almost matched every day over the past fortnight on average.

Among the worst performing hospitals in the trolley crisis has been CUH, which over the past five week days alone has had 50, 27, 39, 44 and 36 people on trolleys.

The problems at the facility are due to be discussed at today’s HSE South regional health forum meeting during a wider discussion on whether the multi-million euro acute medicine unit (AMU) at the site has helped solve difficulties.

The trolley count figures emerged as the INMO confirmed it will ask its agency nurse and midwife members to vote for “structured nationwide industrial action” against pay cuts imposed on agency nurses.

An informal attempt at industrial action was made by the INMO last week, but less than 10% of the estimated 800 agency nurses working in the system every day took up the call.

Agency nurses are employed by outside firms contracted by the HSE.

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